View Full Version : sigma 18-200 or 17-70

21-07-2009, 8:38pm
hey guys,

ive got a trip coming up and would like to get some better gear for my canon 450d, im currently just using the standard lens.
ive got two lenses ive decided on getting. option 1 is the sigma 18-200 (OS), and option 2 which is the sigma 17-70.

which of the two would be best suited for landscapes, and portraits? originally i wanted the 18-200 because its so versatile, with a much bigger range and bang for buck wise it would save me alot of money rather than buying multiple lenses to cover the range from 18 to 200.

because im going japan, is it actually cheaper to purchase the lenses in japan considering its made in japan. any good places to buy camera gear in japan? im mainly gonna be around tokyo city.

which lens of the two is best suited for my trip?
which of the two lens are actaully better?
which one of the two are more bang for buck?

any suggestions? pros/cons towards these two lenses? im quite new to all this so your suggestions will help me heaps.


21-07-2009, 8:46pm

which of the two would be best suited for landscapes, and portraits? ....

because you asked for landscapes AND portraits the answer is dead easy!
The 18-200 would be useful for landscapes or other general photography, but less so for portraits, in many situations. Not that you can;t use it for such, but the images will look more like they would from a P&S.. a little flatter than they would from a 17-70(I suspect).
Although I say that from guesswork only, not experience!

Better options for portraits would be any zoom lens with a constant f/2.8 aperture and the 24-70 range would be better. or a specific prime of at least f/1.8, but f/1.4 could produce nicer images.

For landscapes, the 18-200OS would be fine, unless you want shallow dof images where the back/fore ground may look nice if it was smoothly blurred.

21-07-2009, 9:00pm
I'm biased, and I vote for the 17-70mm. If you are looking for a better quality lens than a standard kit lens, the 18-200 probably wont be as good as the 17-70. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my 17-70. Best purchase I ever made, it hardly ever comes off my camera. I've take both landscapes (mostly what I do take) and portraits wth it, and was actually very happy with the portrait results, better than what I had anticipated...

Good luck!

JM Tran
21-07-2009, 9:12pm
Im a strong advocate of the 17-70 as it has served me better than anything else for travel and esp IQ - in Japan and around Asia for fun and photo assignments.

another alternative to the 18-200 is the Tamron 18-270 VC, slightly better IQ and longer reach too - thats what I would go for - and still retains stablization

21-07-2009, 9:48pm
I've just purchased the new Sigma 18-250 OS HSM. It only arrived yesterday so I haven't done much with it yet but looking through reviews it performs very well and is an improvement over the Sigma 18-200 and the Tamron 18-270. The few shots I have taken have good IQ.

22-07-2009, 4:17pm
For landscapes you do not need a superzoom, the 17-70 would be much better suited as there is less distortion than the 18-200....and prob a little sharper too. Just no stabilization which isnt too crucial in that focal length.

But since you only want a single lens, there is no comparison in versatility to that of a superzoom!! My choice if u only have 1 lens to purchase.

22-07-2009, 7:32pm
If you're going to travel go for the 18-200 OS, optically it won't be on par with the 17-70 but having owned the Siggy 17-70 and the Canon 18-200 IS, I'd rather the OS/IS option and the extra reach of the 18-200. I'm not sure of the difference in price but the Canon 18-200 may be a better match for your camera, I found the focus on my Sigma to be rather inaccurate (possibly a calibration issue)

23-07-2009, 9:38am
my vote goes to the 17-70!
18-200 and other superzoom tends to distort the perspective of the photos.

again i dont own any sigma, so this is just from my readings and friends comments.

23-07-2009, 10:08am
I am not that happy with the 10-200 mm Sigma, my original Tamron of the same mm was a lot faster and sharper, (I dropped it:( ) I am now looking at the Sigma 70-200 mm 2.8 as a replacement. My other Sigmas are great, the 105 macro and the 10-20 mm.

23-07-2009, 10:15am
meh, 6 of one...

17-70 doesnt have the reach, decide if you need 200mm... if not then go the said 17-70

24-07-2009, 12:13am
I just spent a couple of weeks in Japan and took the 17-70mm and the Sig 10-20mm. Both where excellent choices and I had no desire to put a longer lens on either (well only once now that I think of it: when the giant kites were trying to carry off minature dogs on Kamakura beach). I did however spend most of my time in major cities, temples, shirines, Fuji and a few other places. Unless you get really clear weather, much longer than a 100mm will be a waste of space. It's hell hazey over there.

Just for your reference, here are my shots: http://members.iinet.net.au/~damask/Wayne/Photo/Japan_2009 (http://members.iinet.net.au/%7Edamask/Wayne/Photo/Japan_2009)

Where to buy? I went to a few camera stores in Japan (including Bic Camera House - which sells everything from the obvious to washing machines, fridges, beer etc). Throughout Japan, I didn't see anything electronic that was cheaper there than I could purchase online here in Oz.

02-11-2009, 6:23pm
No brainer really in my opinion. OK I am using Nikon but after having used the 18-70mm lens and the 18-200 the 18-200 wins hands down especially when travelling. For a start you don't often have time to change lenses without missing the shot and sticking with one lens is so much better (and it is lighter to carry around one lens). Optical quality is just excellent and my tests at 100mm (which is supposedly the worst focal length) and comparing with my 105mm prime Sigma it's just as good. I have also seen the results of the Tamron 18-270mm on a Canon body and it is equally as good. The IS on the Tamron is excellent and another good reason to get it. Sure these long range zooms have geometric distortion so spend $20 and but a copy of PTlens which totally removes the distortion. Why pay heaps for something which can be so easily fix?

If all you are going to do is put images on the web then optical quality of even the cheapest lens is far better than what you need.

In case you think I am somewhat biased I have taken heaps of images with the 18-200 and entered them in international competitions both as 12"x18" prints and digital and have got lots of acceptances and awards so there can't be too much wrong with the lens.